National Children’s Chorus Announces New Opera Division & Who Will Lead It

By David Salazar

The National Children’s Chorus is set to launch an opera division and the new VAIL OPERA CAMP Initiative.

The organization announced that it would appoint Jonathan McCullough as its Opera Program Director with Dylan F. Thomas set to take on the role of Opera Program Coordinator.

McCullough is a Grammy-nominated baritone and director who led David T. Little’s “Soldier Songs” for Philadelphia Opera. He has performed with such companies as Opera Philadelphia, Komische Oper Berlin, English National Opera, Opéra de Lausanne, English National Opera, Portland Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, among others.

Meanwhile, Thomas is the co-founder and Principal Stage Director at Valley Opera & Performing Arts.

“I’m very excited to step into this new role directing the opera program of the very chorus that started my love for singing. The NCC is where I was first introduced to classical music, which then led me to pursue my first role with Los Angeles Opera’s Opera Camp. There, I discovered my passion for opera that led to a professional career,” said McCullough in an official press statement. I’m truly thrilled to build an unparalleled resource where students can choose to train in multiple areas of operatic disciplines. I’m also honored to have Dylan F. Thomas, a brilliant director, educator and co-founder of Valley Opera Performing Arts, on staff throughout the year leading acting classes for our students in his new role as Opera Program Coordinator.”

VAIL OPERA CAMP will provide singers, directors, conductors, stage managers, and designers with opportunities to develop their skills with guidance from faculty and guest artists.

“It is an honor to appoint GRAMMY® Award nominee Johnathan McCullough to lead this exciting new program. He is a distinguished NCC alumnus and looks forward to rejoining the organization, this time as a Program Director,” said Luke McEndarfer, Artistic Director and CEO, of National Children’s Chorus.

National Children’s Chorus also noted that it will present “The Tinker of Tivoli,” an original work that is a pastiche drawn from Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” and “Cinderella.” The work will be showcased on August 11, 2023.